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Angele stayed in the mansion for a while and checked the situation of the matrices. The crystal card could still support them for about half a year, so they did not need to be replaced yet. He gave some more food to Freia and returned to the main world.
Morrian, Seth, and Milan left the ruin after resting for several days. They left Vivian’s gifts to Angele before leaving.
Angele put the gifts into his travel case and left the ruin, heading directly to the Mermaid’s Song.
The distance from the ruin to the Mermaid’s Song was short, so it only took him about ten days on the road.
The city was a mess. Many people were crying on the streets.
Three funerals were being held in the city and the atmosphere was heavy.
Walking down the main street, Angele saw people carrying white and black coffins around.
He turned left and entered a narrow street. Most of the pedestrians on the street were women and children, with barely any young men in sight.
Angele was wearing a long black robe. He walked down the brown-paved street and headed towards the direction stated in the message from the communication rune.
Reaching the end of the street, a large gra.s.sland—covered with white tombstones—appeared in his sight.
The orange light from the setting sun illuminated the tombstones, giving the place a peaceful and quiet feel.
There were people gathering at the graveyard and some were lowering the coffins into the graves carefully. There were also wizards reading eulogies and paying tribute to the dead.
Angele walked to a group of people that was standing by the forest.
Most of them were wearing black outfits, and they all had serious expressions on their faces.
There were about 30 people there, and they were all holding white flowers in their hands. A small band was playing some sad, mournful music with their violins and harps.
People were still coming to the graveyard despite the dim sunlight.
A wizard was preparing for a eulogy with a black book in hand.
As Angele walked toward the group, the wizards noticed his presence and started greeting him.
"Master Angele, you’re here."
Angele nodded as he walked, heading straight to the coffin.
The coffin was open and the former department head, Cruise, was lying inside. His body was covered with black flower petals and black silk. Cruise was donned in a black suit, with an eye-shaped ruby lying on his chest.
Dozens of white flowers surrounded the coffin.
As Angele stood in front of the coffin, he could hear Cruise’s relatives crying.
He bowed slightly and took out a plain black box from his sleeves. Crouching down, he carefully placed the box to the right of Cruise’s body.
He then stood up and walked to Cruise’s family.
To the right were a five-year-old boy and two girls. They all had blond hair and pretty faces.
Angele patted one of the girl’s head lightly. She was about 17 or 18 years old.
"Julie, let me know if you need any help. Don’t worry, I’m your father’s good friend, and I respect him a lot," Angele spoke in a light tone.
"Thank you…" Julie was the oldest child of the three. Her eyes turned red, and she was trying not to cry again. "Thank you, master Angele."
Angele looked at the three children, shook his head, and sighed with mixed emotions. He turned back around and rejoined the group.
A tall, eye-catching man was wearing a dark green swordsman’s suit in the group talking to several other wizards with a hushed voice.
As he saw Angele walking to him, he ended the conversation with the other wizards and turned around.
"Master Angele, long time no see." He hugged Angele slightly.
"President Barry, it’s not a long time, just two years. What happened? Was it really just an accident?" Angele’s brow furrowed. "Cruise did not seem like the one who would try to advance wit
"I’m sorry but that’s just what happened." President Barry was the president of one of the three schools in the Mermaid’s Song. He was one of the stakeholders in the city.
The old man was hundreds of years old, and he was a friend of Cruise.
"Cruise was dying and he had to give it a try. If he succeeded, his life expectancy would increase again; however…"—Barry sighed—"his wife pa.s.sed away a long time ago and he was just worried about his children."
Angele knew what Barry was implying. "Yeah, that’s the problem. Julie and the other two children are not talented and Cruise’s family probably won’t take care of them. I understand that this is the rule in the central continent… Children without talent will not be considered as formal members of the family. The situation will get worse as Cruise already pa.s.sed away. What’s your plan?"
Barry turned around and looked at the three children. "I don’t have any child and I need to take my students to the frontline. I don’t think I can take care of them. I’m counting on you and Piatto. You two were close to Cruise, right?"
Angele nodded. "No problem. Cruise treated me well, and although we chose a different path, I respect people who would sacrifice their lives for their dream. I’ll help take care of his children and a peaceful life is probably the best for them."
"Yeah… A hundred year is nothing to us… however, they’re just mortals and they can’t even live that long," Barry sighed.
"Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it." Angele’s sight fell upon the three children on the other side. They reminded Angele of Frey and Freia in the Nightmare Realm.
The difference was that the youngest one here was the boy and none of them had the talent like Frey had
Angele and Barry just stood there and stopped talking but none of the other wizards around tried to approach them.
Angele was the son of the third elder. Barry was a strong wizard with a high position. People wanted to talk to them, but they knew it would not be a wise choice to approach them at the moment.
The funeral started minutes later.
A bald wizard in a black robe with golden tr.i.m.m.i.n.gs walked up to the coffin. He stood in front of the people and in his hands was a thick black book.
"Cruise Einzbern. He served in Northern Iceland for four years and he died as the head of the Human Resource department in the Mermaid’s Song…" The old man started listing Cruise’s major achievements in a deep tone.
The band was still playing the elegant, but sad music. The sound of the violins and the harps, in addition to the scene, was quite melancholic.
The people attending the funeral sprinkled some silver dust over Cruise’s body after the old wizard finished the speech. The glowing silver dust slowly dropped down and quickly coated the surface of the body.
The dust was called the Soul Savior, and it was used to protect the dead ones from the Necromancers. A strong wizard designed it hundreds of years ago.
It was getting dark, and the wind was getting stronger. The sky was slowly covered by the clouds.
Seconds later, bean-sized raindrops fell from the sky, which quickly turned into a downpour.
The people around the coffin opened their black umbrellas.
Angele raised his right hand and created a black metal umbrella to prevent the rain from dropping on his head. The umbrella looked identical to the ones used by the others.
The raindrops struck the surface of the umbrella and made some light noise.
"Master Angele, you’re here?" Several young wizards greeted Angele as they approached him from behind.
"Rook, what’s going on with all the funerals in the Mermaid’s Song?" Angele watched several coffins being dropped into the graves and questioned a young man using energy particles. "I just arrived and I’m not familiar with the situation."
These young wizards were also members of the Human Resource Department, and they all had more than twenty people working for them. They were all rank 1 wizards, and they were the main force there.
The man named Rook had a bitter smile on his face after hearing the question.
"The situation in the War Drum City was much worse than the Mermaid’s City," Rook started explaining. "One of the legions in the frontline was ambushed by the alliance’s main force. Thousands of people died, only several hundred of them survived…"
"Seriously? Those alliance dogs…" Angele cursed and looked Rook. "Take care of Cruise’s children for me. They’re mortals and I want them to live a peaceful life."
Rook looked at the coffins and a hint of fear flashed in his eyes. "I thought the wizards were the strongest living beings in this world, and we can get most of the things we want in our lives. I don’t understand why we should keep progressing until I heard about Master Cruise’s death…"
Angele glanced at him but did not say anything else.
The rain was getting heavier and heavier. The coffin was quickly lowered into the grave and was covered with flowers.
The people around started leaving.
When there were only several people left, Angele decided to leave as well.
A young girl’s voice stopped him from behind.
Angele turned around and he saw Julie standing in front of him with the two other children. The young girl and young boy held their sister’s hands tightly as they were staring at Angele.
"What happened, Julie?" Angele asked softly.